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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  March 8, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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tonight on "world news," america afloat. in 26 states. canoes instead of cars. mired in mud. neighbors rescuing neighbors. a mountain of snow becomes a torrent of water. no excuses. the government warns gas could be $4 by summer. but we ask these gas stations why their jacking up the prices now. punishing kids? 20,000 seek medical attention because of teachers. where do you draw the line on paddlings, on spanking? wild weight loss idea. if you imitate pregnant women, can you really peel off the pounds?
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and, made in america gets action. will congress now require gift shops like these to sell goods from american workers? good evening. more than half of america's states, 26 in all, are facing flood watches and warnings tonight. in towns from new orleans to new york, there are rivers in the streets. snow melting so fast it's as if two olympic swimming pools were pouring out every single second. and another wet storm is about to arrive. already, canoes are parked in the driveway. cars stalled in the water. and mud is everywhere. and our linsey davis is in wayne, new jersey, tonight, standing in some of the biggest flooding in six decades. >> reporter: good evening, diane. this area is absolutely swamped. it's said to be among the hardest-hit in all of the
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northeast. and the culprit? you're looking at it. this river. in some sections of this street, it's about to two three feet deep. the homes are like little islands in this sea that is wayne, new jersey. is this the best mode of transportation? >> right now, yeah. >> reporter: jim rodgers has lived here on riverside drive for 53 years. the only way he could show me his neighborhood was by boat. >> i think the problem is the rain, the snow melt, the dam up river. it never used to get this bad. >> reporter: northern new jersey rivers are overflowing their banks. a potent combination of three inches of rain and massive snow melt. all the rainfall in little falls is proving too much. >> really nothing i can do, but i'm stressed. i'm stressed. >> reporter: melting snow brought mud slides to massachusetts and in connecticut, the majority of state's rivers have surpassed flood stage. >> we have about a foot and a half of water inside the house.
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the entire living space is completely trashed. we can't -- we have nowhere to live right now. >> reporter: this man traversed the icy waters with a canoe. with cars underwater, firefighters had to use boats to rescue residents. >> it was pretty bad. my electrical wire underneath was in water, so i shut down my power and i left and went to my mom's. >> reporter: the worst may be still to come. another storm is brewing in the south. it's expected to dump another one to two inches starting tomorrow. paul wayne has work to to do. not a river, two rivers run right through his front yard, into his driveway and dangerously close to his garage. >> i keep them dry with the panels. >> reporter: so what do you do? >> well, these panels are basically waterproof. they are metal, they come up and bolt up against the wall and then as the water rises i can put a second panel on and a third panel and i can literally get it right up to the top and seal the door off entirely. >> reporter: northern new jersey has already had one and a half times more rain than it would normally have from february
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until now. this river is expected to crest early in the morning and a few hours later, more rain. diane? >> all right, linsey davis. this is a huge part of the country facing this. a country already watching gas prices rocket into the stratosphere. and today, the department of energy gave an official warning. americans will be paying on average $3.70 a gallon by spring. and by summer, possibly over $4 a gallon. but we wondered about all the gas stations we hear about around the country, already charging those sky-high prices. this is gouging? matt gutman went in search for answers. >> reporter: nationwide, gas prices speaked 39 sents the past month, up another penny overnight. california remains the nation's most expensive state, where gas tops $3.91 a gallon. the cheapest? wyoming, $3.20. but where is the nation's priciest gas? we found it here in orlando. so, here we are, suncoast energies, the most expensive gas
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station in the united states. pulling up. let's see how much it costs to fill little less than three quarters of a tank. 13 gallons, $70. we found that most didn't even see the price until we told them. >> $4.14. >> reporter: no, try again. $5.39. >> i think we'll be going somewhere else. >> reporter: $5.39 a gallon. still going to fill up here? >> no. >> reporter: leaving? >> yeah. >> reporter: turns out, here at suncoast, none of the prices are posted out front. do you want to make sure you've seen the price? >> well, it's lower than california, i know that. well, what this -- i guess not. >> reporter: across the street, the nation's second-most expensive gas. prices also not posted. stations like this prey on unwitting travelers hoping to fill up their rental cars on their way to the airport. so we tried to ask station owners here about their prices.
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put down the cell phone number, that would be helpful. >> i can't give out a cell phone. >> reporter: we e-mailed and called. no response. this is technically not price gouging, a legal term which applies only during states of emergency, like hurricane katrina. in fact, stations can charge as much as they want. >> we don't think this is right. we don't think people shouldn't should be tricked into paying $2 a gallon more for gas than they could a half mile down the road. >> reporter: and the mayor told me that the folks here making money here hand over fist but most gas stations make three to four pennies of every gallon. and there may be a lesson here as gas prices are soaring. if you don't see the prices out front, diane, keep driving. >> keep driving. matt gutman with a big warning tonight for all drivers. and coming up next, a kind of mystery along the southern california coast. millimeters and millions of dead fish, mostly small sardines. so many, they're actually choking off a harbor. in some places, you couldn't even see the water. so, why did this happen?
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tonight, marine experts have begun to gather clues, and mike von fremd has them. >> reporter: at sunrise, those with a view of normally pristine king harbor simply could not believe their eyes. millions of sardines floating dead in the water. >> i never seen anything like it. i mean, the water is silver from the fish. >> reporter: emergency calls went out. the fear was that this was some sort of chemical spill. the fish and water immediately tested. >> there are no signs of oil or chemicals or anything else in the water that shouldn't be. >> reporter: here's what happened. according to marine biologist, predator fish, likely a shark or whale, chased just a few in the wrong direction. those few seemed to have led millions 0 their doom. >> you know, they look to follow each other. it only take as few to come in and the whole school will come in. >> reporter: so, after the first swam into king harbor, the entire school followed, overwhelming the 1,400 boats here docked. after being chased into a harbor, a spokesman says that
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gale-force winds kept them trapped. the oxygen was defleeted and as a result, millions of sardined suffocated. there were simply too many fish in such shallow water to survive. >> we're confident that it is a naturally occurring but unusual event. >> reporter: what's bad for the sardines has become a feast for the seems and pelicans. mike von fremd, abc news, redondo beach, california. and, we move now to washington, and an extraordinary ceremony. it been said courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. and today, ten women who did just that were honored in a ceremony with first lady michelle obama and secretary of state hillary clinton, to mark the 100th anniversary of international women's day. and, these were women who made simple decisions to stand up in the face of danger and move that courage can be contagious. >> they are here today because each of them at some point made a decision. she simply could not carry on in
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the face of an injustice. and so, each in her own way decided to act. they've received death threats. they have been beaten. kidnapped. imprisoned. tortured. as maria bashir put it, simply, if we women do not accept risk and work, no changes will happen. after being forced into marriage when she was just 12 years old, this woman became the first woman in her village to be divorced. >> she decided to she wanted to fulfill her own dream and to become educated. and then, she decided she wanted to help others have the same opportunities. >> she says, something got into my head and turned my nerves to steel. many of these women know that the fruits of their labors will not be seen during their lifetimes. they're paving the way to a
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better life for their daughters and granddaughters and for their sons and grandsons, too. jianmei guo described it as, the means of life is keeping our feet on the ground, making our way toward our ideals. we have no complaints. we have no regret. we have you who will walk with us. >> and we salute them on this night. in philadelphia, the roman catholic archdiocese suspended 21 priests today, suspected of sexually abusing minors. it's believed to be one of the largest mass suspensions in church history. it was a major embarrassment for the cardinal who insisted that no priests suspected of abuse were still on the job a grand jury has accused the archdiocese of covering up the problem. and now, a debate about spanking in school. today, we learned that more than
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200,000 children encounter corporal punishment every year, though the real number could be much higher. so, the question tonight, how much is too much, and where would you draw the line? dan harris dives into this debate. >> reporter: 13-year-old payton lewis is an honor student and an athlete. but payton says when he failed a science test earlier in this school year, his teacher told him to meet out in the hallway. >> he said, well, my daddy beat me, i beat my children so that's what i'm about to do to you. >> reporter: how many times did he hit you? >> just once. >> reporter: hard? >> extremely. >> reporter: payton says this was the result. >> i was crying. i was in extreme pain. >> he shows me his bottom and as soon as i looked at it, it was rage. >> reporter: his mother went to the principal, the police, even the prosecutor here in this tiny alabama town. >> i was even told by the lady at the district attorney's office, we prosecute less child
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abuse than this ever day. but they can't prosecute this. >> reporter: that's because payton's paddling was done by a teacher. in 20 states, it is perfectly legal for a teacher to hit a child. according to congressional testimony, up to 20,000 students a year request medical treatment after corporal punishment. journally, the injuries involve bruising and broken blood vessels. enter mark echo, the super rich street fashion designer. he's long been interested in education, and when he heard this was still legal, he decided to act. starting today, he's putting up billboards and launching this website and mobile app, which he hopes will allow tens of thousands of young people to bombard lawmakers with e-mails, faxes and phone calls. this is what is actually used? >> this is a wooden board or a paddle, and this is the kind of device of choice. >> reporter: we went to the school superintendent with
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photos of payton's injuries to get answers. how would this happen? we're doing a story about paddling in the school and we're trying to find out what you think if this is acceptable. >> sir, i don't have any comment for you, don't appreciate the way you came in. think you're highly unprofessional. have a good day. >> reporter: so, you -- >> have a good day, sir. >> reporter: payton's school says it has now stopped paddling. payton and his mom are not satisfied. they are suing. they say they're goal is to not only get payton's teacher fires, but also to change the law. >> you know, you can't even hit a dog. you can't hit a prisoner. but you can hit my child? makes me crazy. >> reporter: dan harris, abc news, rainsville, alabama. and still ahead on "world news," made in america. taxpayer since dized souvenirs made overseas? stick around. we get action. the wild diet getting a lot of attention. does it work? and, can you guess who is
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the happiest person in america, and their secrets? your advertising mail campaign is paying off! business is good! it must be if you're doing all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money. i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying. hmmm... priority mail flat rate envelopes, just $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. i can't breathe... so i can't sleep...
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everyone doing their part. this is the way forward. to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. motrin pm. i see you're flatulent in three languages. graduated op of your gas. [ male announcer ] got gas on your mind? your son rip is on line toot. [ male announcer ] try gas-x. powerful relief # from pressure and bloating in a fast-acting chewable. gas-x. pressure's off. and now, our series, "made in america." you'll remember, we showed you those shoouf nears from gift shots in the nation's capital, made overseas by passing american workers. well, tonight, that's starting to change, at least in one
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place. jon karl explains. >> reporter: we found out just how hard it is to find a souvenir, any souvenir, made in america. let's take a look. even the flag pins, made in china. the busiest gift shops are at the smithsonian, where just about everything is made in china. today, senator bernie sanders called the smithsonian's top officials to his office to demand they sell more made in the usa products. just a few blocks away, there's a thriving shop called appalachian spring. david brooks has been in business 43 years, selling only american-made products, helping employ some 400 craftspeople. imagine the smithsonian, one of the most visited collection of museums in the world. imagine what they did who you do. how many people could they
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employ? >> oh, it would be unbelievable. thousands. >> reporter: thousands of people? people like lauren, a pottery maker in st. louis. >> it would be a goal of mine. >> reporter: just think about it. the smithsonian hosts 30 million visitors every year. and last year, its gift shops raked in almost $44 million. after the meeting with senator sanders, a new promise. are you going to be able to sell more made in america soouf neerps? >> yes. we agreed we would make more effort to sell made in america products in our gift shops and we also said that we would have one of our gift shops, our price of freedom gift shop totally devoted to made in america products. satisfied with that? >> it's a start. let's see what happens. >> reporter: the smithsonian may soon not have a choice. in response to our story, congressman nick ray hall said that he is going to introduce a
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bill requiring they sell made in america or lose their funding. diane? >> jon karl on the case in washington tonight. thanks so much, jon. and coming up, a wild new weight loss idea. would you try it? desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. talk to your doctor about your risk for osteoporosis-related bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of nexium for a long time. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. talk to your doctor about nexium. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. until you look at the gumline. the problem is, you could have plaque along your gumline that can lead to gingivitis. in fact, one in two adults actually has gingivitis and might not even know it. fortunately, there's new crest pro-health clinical gum protection toothpaste. it helps eliminate plaque at the gumline,
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>> reporter: victoria was on quest to lose weight. and to do it, she turned to a most unusual tool. it's called hcg, a hormone produced in a woman's body when she is pregnant. victoria took a derivative of the hormone that comes in drops -- $60 a day for a 40-day supply. she says she lost 45 pounds in 80 days. and now sells it. >> i'm fairly happy with myself now. i'm comfortable. i may not be a size zero, but i never wanted to be. >> reporter: the hcg diet is so popular, even dr. oz weighed in. >> it's called the hcg diet. >> reporter: women are getting the hormone prescribed by a doctor, injecting it daily. and cutting calories to just 500 a day, a near starvation diet. those who square by it claim hcg curbs your appetite, and that by tricking your body into thinking its pregnant, the body burns fat, not muscle. abc news contacted more than 20 medical experts today who say
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that's nonsense. we talked to endocrinologists, nutritionists and even cardiologists, all of whom say there is no medical evidence to back up the diet's claim. and worse, it may put dieters at risk for blood clots, pulmonary embolism, depression, headaches. >> this isn't just nonsense. this is dangerous. go on the hcg diet, i think you're playing russian roulette with your health and maybe even your life. >> so, is this legal? >> reporter: it is legal, off-label, it's prescribed to women. but where is the fda on this? they pointed out that today, for years, they've required labels of hcg state that numerous clinical trials have showed it to be ineffect chul when it comes to weight loss. as for the home owe pathic version, the oral drops, the pellets, they are not even recognized by the fda. >> and you got to know the consequences of some of this. thank you, juju, for tackling this today.
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and coming up, who is the happiest person in america? and coming up, who is the happiest person in america? and, what are the secrets? a bo. while a body in motion tends to stn motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arths, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide our relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is er. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, including celebrex, may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long perio nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems,
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such as bleeding ann occur w. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increasesk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you' had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor about your medical history and find an arthritis treatment that works for you. ask your doctor about celebrex. and, go to to learn more about how you can move toward relief. celebrex. for a body in motion. but basically, i'm a runner. last year. (oof). i had a bum knee that needed surgery. but it got complicated, because i had an old injury. so i wanted a doctor who had done this before. and unitedhealthcare's database helped me find a surgeon. you know you can't have great legs, if you don't have good knees. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans.
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that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums and finally tonight, what makes someone the happiest person in america? well, for three years, gallup
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asked a series of questions to learn the answer. who got the prize? here's john berman. >> reporter: magnum p.i. always seemed very happy. a tall, young, single guy living the good life in hawaii. but it turns out, he could have been even happier. how? well, if he had been older, married and also an asian-american jew. if you were going to build the happiest american from scratch, based on things like job satisfaction, health and comfort, what would he look like? "the new york times" has a construction manual. first off, be a man. men report being happier than women. move to hawaii. no surprise the happiest place in the country. find god. faith gives people purpose. >> why do they cake up every day? how do they make meaning out of life? >> reporter: and jews, according to gallup, happier than anyone. as are asian-americans. americans over 65 are the happiest age group. some studies say they no longer bear the burden of the future.
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add it all up and america's happiest person isn't tom sellic, it's -- alvin wong. >> i guess i have the dubious honor of being the happiest man in america. >> reporter: 69 years old, married for 35 years, lives in honolulu. he has two kids and is a kosher-observing jew. he runs his own health care company and loves it. mr. happy's best advice? >> if you can't laugh at yourself, then life is going to be very hard on you. >> reporter: that's something we all can do. even magnum. john berman, abc news, new york. >> and we're happy you were with us tonight and thank you for watching. we're always on at "nightline" ahead later. and we hope you have a great evening and that we'll see you here again tomorrow.
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